Tributes to D-Day hero and former Bridlington legion president

Harold Norman Woodhouse
Harold Norman Woodhouse

The funeral has taken place of a former president of the Bridlington branch of the Royal British Legion.

Harold Norman Woodhouse had lived in the town his whole life. Born on December 1920 in Nelson Street, the son of a fisherman, he had a happy but tough childhood.

He attended West Street School and started work at the age of 14, when his first job was working for the Bridlington Free Press where he was the odd job boy with duties such as cleaning windows and washing the boss’ car.

Mr Woodhouse left to start up an apprenticeship as a plumber and electrician with a local firm. In 1939, he and some of his mates joined the Green Howard territorials and were called up immediately when war was declared in September. In January 1940 he was sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force.

After marching to Belgium they encountered German resistance and had to retreat to Dunkirk.

Later the regiment was shipped to the Middle East via South Africa, where he fought in Egypt, Palestine, Iraq and Libya where they fought hard to take El Alamein, Tobruk and Alexandria.

After training camps on the South coast, Mr Woodhouse took part in the D-Day landings on Gold Beach and they fought their way through France and Belgium to Holland. There they were part of the ‘Market Garden’ campaign to take the Njimegen and Arnhem bridges.

By this time, there were only a few of the original members of the battalion remaining. It was here that it was decided that the battalion had done their job and they were sent back to England to train reinforcements for the final push in 1945.

On his return to Yorkshire, he married his girlfriend Margaret Beesting in April 1945 and they were married for 63 years until her death in January 2009.

He continued to work as a plumber andelectrician, his final employment was as an electrical engineer for the local hospitals and clinics in Bridlington.

A long-standing member of the Royal British Legion he was elected President of the Bridlington branch and held the position for seven years.

He had many years of happy retirement still enjoying playing snooker and dominoes at the British Legion Club until it was demolished and enjoyed good health until late 2018.